Seven-Day Summary: 'Green Hornet' Runs Over 'The Dilemma'

by Ray Subers
The Green Hornet

January 21, 2011

The Green Hornet burst on to the scene this week with one of the best January openings ever. In a distant second, The Dilemma disappointed compared to the track record of stars Vince Vaughn and Kevin James. Overall it was another down week at the box office, as business was off 25 percent compared to last year when Avatar topped The Book of Eli with $66.3 million.

The Green Hornet debuted to $45.3 million, which was the third highest-grossing January opening week ever behind Cloverfield and Star Wars (Special Edition) (though it fell much further down the chart when accounting for ticket price inflation). Also, while the opening was about middle-of-the-road for highly-promoted superhero fare, The Green Hornet is set to pass Kick-Ass sometime today to become the second highest-grossing superhero comedy ever behind The Incredibles. In a slightly sour note, the seven-day start was less than past Seth Rogen-scripted projects Superbad and Pineapple Express, though they both opened on more lucrative August dates.

The Dilemma opened to $23.6 million, or just over half The Green Hornet's take. This was the lowest opening ever for a Kevin James vehicle by far, and it was Vince Vaughn's least-attended major nationwide debut since Domestic Disturbance in 2001. The Dilemma also marked director Ron Howard's slowest start since The Missing in 2003.

In its fourth full week, True Grit dipped 22 percent to $15.4 million for a total of $130.6 million. Over the last two weeks, it's been slowly closing the gap with Little Fockers, which opened significantly higher on the same date. At one point, $16 million separated the two movies. Now, the Coen Bros. Western has narrowed that gap to just over $6 million, and it should surpass Fockers in the next two weeks.

The King's Speech doubled its theater count and was up 54 percent to $13.9 million. The Colin Firth-Geoffrey Rush period drama has so far scored $49.5 million, and seems poised to maintain its momentum through Oscar season.

Black Swan also added a significant number of theaters and increased six percent to $12.5 million. The ballet thriller has so far made $77.4 million and, barring some kind of catastrophic downturn, it will become parent company 20th Century Fox's top movie from 2010 ahead of higher-profile fare like The Chronicles of Narnia: The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, Knight & Day and The A-Team.

Little Fockers dropped 43 percent to $9.7 million for a total of $136.8 million. It's now trailing predecessor Meet the Fockers by over $100 million.

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